DRL RacerAI drone

The Drone Racing League (DRL) has launched the DRL RacerAI, the league’s first-ever autonomous racing drone. Designed to be the first autonomous robot to defeat a human in a physical sport, the DRL RacerAI will help close the gap between artificial intelligence (AI) and human performance.

The news comes out ahead of DRL’s inaugural Artificial Intelligence Robotic Racing (AIRR) Circuit, which kicks off its four-event, autonomous drone racing series today in Orlando, Florida.

AIRR races will feature nine identical DRL RacerAI drones operated only by AI – specifically, AI developed by the nine teams from Lockheed Martin’s AlphaPilot Challenge. AlphaPilot teams’ AI will pilot their DRL RacerAI through gates on a course for the fasting time – all without any GPS, data relay or human intervention. The fastest team’s drone will then go head-to-head against the fastest 2019 DRL Allianz World Champion pilot with an aim to win.

Customized by DRL’s team of world-class drone technicians, the DRL RacerAI has a radical drone configuration to provide its computer vision with a non-obstructive frontal view during racing. Generating 20 pounds of thrust, each self-flying drone is equipped with a powerful AI-at-the-edge compute platform, the NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier, and is connected to four onboard stereoscopic cameras — enabling the AI to detect and identify objects with twice the field of view as human pilots.

Drone racing fans, technologists and AI/machine learning enthusiasts can watch the historic robotic competitions live at the following 2019 AIRR events:

Orlando, FL: AIRR 1
October 8th at Addition Financial Arena at UCF
(Sold out)

Washington D.C.: AIRR 2
November 2nd at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Get tickets here

Baltimore, MD: AIRR 3
November 15th at The Baltimore Convention Center
Join here for ticket-release updates

Austin, TX: 2019 AIRR World Championship
December 6th at Austin American-Statesman
Join here for ticket-release updates

Learn more about AIRR and the DRL RacerAI drone at thedroneracingleague.com